Why Crystal Palace should go back in the market for Jack Clarke in January
According to the Express, Crystal Palace could get a chance to bring summer target Jack Clarke to the club in January, with the report claiming that Tottenham Hotspur are weighing up the possibility of recalling the teenager from his loan spell at Leeds United midway through the season.
Having enjoyed an impressive breakout season at Elland Road the last term, the 18-year-old completed a £10 million switch to Spurs earlier in the summer before being loaned back to his boyhood club immediately to further his development.
However, things haven’t really gone according to the script for the highly-rated teenager after returning to his former club on loan, with Clarke yet to start a game for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the Championship.
The EFL rules prevent managers from selecting more than five loanees in a matchday squad and with Jack Harrison, Ben White, Helder Costa, Eddie Nketiah and Illan Meslier already on that list, Bielsa cannot be completely blamed for not handing Clarke enough first-team action.
The winger’s involvement has been limited to only a couple of appearances in the Carabao Cup, which hardly makes sense for his development, and, as per the report, Spurs are very much disappointed with Leeds’ handling of the youngster.
The Express understands that Spurs are planning to recall Jack Clarke from his loan spell but, should they do so in January, they are going to loan him out again, amidst claims that West Ham and Crystal Palace could pounce on the opportunity to sign the talented winger until the end of the season.
Crystal Palace have made a promising start to their campaign with 2 wins and a draw from their first five Premier League fixtures, including a surprise 2-1 victory over Man United at Old Trafford.
Despite that, however, the Eagles have once again looked quite toothless in the attacking third and one cannot help but wonder as to what might have been the reason behind the club’s reluctance to bring in attacking reinforcements this summer.
Palace certainly had money to spend following the big-money sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Man United but they hardly showed any kind of intent in the transfer window to bolster their attack, having scored only 51 goals the last term.
That number was one of the poorest outside the relegation zone in the previous campaign, and a tally of just 3 goals in 5 games this term indicates that the club is going down the same path once again.
To put things into perspective, Palace need to freshen up things with some exciting transfers if they are to challenge for better things than just avoiding relegation and someone like Jack Clarke could be a useful addition to an attacking unit that is overly reliant on Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew and Andros Townsend.
Zaha, Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer are all capable of playing out wide but Clarke is likely to add that X-Factor to the ranks with his youthful exuberance, pace, skills and ability to beat a man in one-on-one situations.
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With that in mind, the 18-year-old is still very much a work in progress and Palace should not hesitate to sign him on loan in January if Spurs choose to terminate his loan spell midway through the season.